What To Say When Your Ex Boyfriend Calls You on the Phone

So you did everything right. You walked away cleanly, broke contact, and made your ex miss you after the breakup. The phone finally rings, and your ex boyfriend is on the other end of the line. Now what?

What to Say to Ex

Well for starters, don't get nervous. You went through a lot of trouble to get to this point, and learning how to talk to your ex again is a very necessary part of getting back together.

Remember that your ex called you, and that puts you in the driver's seat. This should enable you to relax and handle the call in such a way that you stay in control. Obviously something you did (or didn't do) has regained your ex's attention, and he's looking to regain some sort of contact with you.

Also keep in mind that your ex likely has a reason for getting back in touch. Unless he picked up the phone and just started winging it, your exboyfriend already came up with an excuse to call you.

If this is the first time you're communicating after the break up, your ex probably has a preconcieved notion of how he wants the conversation to go. He has expectations as to how you'll react, and certain things he may or may not want to say to you. His goal is to get all of these things off his chest while making the phone call look as casual and cavalier as possible.

When it comes to you, there are a number of things you should prepare for when talking to your ex boyfriend. What you say isn't always as important as how you say it, and the following guidelines can help:

  • Don't be nervous. Your ex boyfriend can tell when you're apprehensive about talking to him, and he'll immediately translate this into you still wanting him back. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage, so don't give away your position.
  • Stay cool and calm. The more casual and indifferent you can appear while speaking to your ex, the better you'll come off. You want your exboyfriend to see the stronger side of you, the one who's already over the breakup and isn't at all desperate to get back together.
  • Don't be negative. If your ex is reaching out here and offering an olive branch, now's not the time to air your grievances. Even if there are things about the breakup that bother you, you need to swallow them. Your ultimate goal is to get your boyfriend back, so try to stay positive and constructive while talking to him for the first time.
  • Don't give away too much. Your ex boyfriend is calling for one thing: information. You don't have to flat out lie to him about anything, but you also don't have to offer too much at once. Let your ex wonder where you've been, what you're up to, and who you've been hanging out with. By keeping yourself mysterious and not giving away too much, you're setting the stage for a second phone call.
  • Let him do the talking. Your ex called you, so let him talk. The more he says, the better an idea you'll get as to why he really called. Pay attention to his words, his voice, and his overall attitude. By allowing him to do most of the talking, you're also keeping yourself more of a mystery (see point above).
  • Keep it short. The less time you stay on the phone, the better off you'll be. Handling that first phone call requires that you make it short and quick, and that you be the person who decides when it ends. More on that in a minute.

On the phone, you should come off as cool and confident. There's nothing wrong with being happy to hear from your ex, but you should be happy whether he called you or not.

The more your ex gets the impression that your life has moved on without him, the better your chances of getting him to want you back. It's human nature to want the things we can't have, so the minute he feels you slipping away from him will be the same minute your ex starts taking steps toward getting you back.

Seizing Control of The Phone Call - Putting Him Out of His Comfort Zone

The moment he broke up with you, your boyfriend seized all control over what happens next with your relationship (and post-relationship). But when he called you just now, he actually sacrificed some of that control.

Here's where you step in and take back even more power. Up until now, your ex has envisioned you as someone who'll take him back any time he wants. He knows you still love him, and he knows you were willing to fight to keep your relationship going.

But now? You're actually going to show your ex a brand new person. You're going to push him out of his comfortable little bubble, and let him know that not only does he stand to lose you... but he may have even lost you already.

How To Handle The Ex Boyfriend Phone Call - Step by Step

When your ex first calls, you want to be friendly. Not too friendly, but friendly enough that he doesn't immediately regret calling. You also want to seem busy, as if your ex called while you were in the middle of something. If it helps, actually do something while talking to your ex boyfriend, like making yourself a cup of coffee.

Talk To Ex Boyfriend

By occupying yourself with a simple task, you'll find that you're a whole lot less nervous. It takes the edge off talking to your ex when you keep busy with something trivial.

You start the conversation by saying hello, and asking your exboyfriend how things are:

"Hey, wow, it's good to hear from you.
How've you been?"

Your ex will make some small talk here. He may or may not go into some detail, but when he's done you follow up with a simple:

"What's up?"

These two little words require your ex boyfriend to come up with an excuse for calling. They're seemingly innocent, but they also remind your ex that he's the one who called, and that you'll be expecting some type of answer as to why he dialed your number to talk to you.

Whatever reason your ex might give you, don't shoot it down. It took some courage for him to make initiate this type of contact, and you want him to at least feel welcome to call again. Make the requisite small talk, and ask about innocent things like friends, family, and work. Neither one of you should be talking about the breakup, especially not right now.

The very second there's a lull or pause in the conversation, you need to make the next move. This involves an exit plan, initiated by you, which will immediately get your ex wondering what's up:

"Look, I'm sorry about this but I really have to run.
Give me a call next week or something,
if you want to talk. Cool?"

A whole bunch of great stuff happens here, starting with you ditching out on the phone call early. Remember, your ex thinks you've been literally dying to talk to him. So when you end the call abruptly before it even gets started? He'll be at a total and complete loss. After all, what can be so important that you're hanging up on his call to go do it?

Priority-wise, your ex also just got a reality check. Some major changes have occurred in your life since he last left you, and suddenly he's not the number one person in your world anymore.

You mentioned talking to him another time, but you also used the term 'maybe'. This gives the impression that you really don't care whether or not you speak to him again later on, destroying any trace of neediness or desperation your ex boyfriend might have attributed to you since the breakup.

Ex Boyfriend Phone Call

In fact, you're too busy to be bothered even setting up a date and time. 'Next week or something' is about as vague as you can get, and it will have your ex will wondering why you didn't say this week. Are you busy until next week? What exactly are you doing? Asking himself these kinds of questions will actually make your ex jealous.

As always, the less information you give your ex boyfriend the more he'll start building up your post-breakup life. Many guys will fill in the blanks with the worst-case scenario: maybe she's met someone new.

You also put the ball in his court by telling him to give you a call. You didn't offer to call him back when you were less busy, and that's a huge move. If he wants to continue speaking to you, your exboyfriend has to call again... after waiting several nerve-wracking days and imagining what you might be up to.

Finally, you added the phrase "if you want to". Again, you've given the impression that it doesn't matter to you whether he calls back or not. You appear cool, confident, and completely immersed in something important... and unfortunately for your ex boyfriend, it seems like that something is a lot more important than him.

There are a lot of other important ways you can turn the tide on an ex boyfriend who calls you. For tons more information like the example listed above, check out these reversal techniques.

Getting Your Boyfriend Back - Speeding Up The Process of Reconciliation

When learning how to get an ex back, people always want to know what they can do to make thing happen faster. And although reversing your breakup does take a fair amount of time and patience, there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

For example, most guys will stay single for as long as they feel comfortable. Therefore the more cushy you make things for your ex boyfriend, the longer you're actually prolonging your own breakup.

Things like keeping in touch with your ex, paying him compliments, trying to be friends with him... these things all feed his ego and his comfort level. Your ex boyfriend knows you still love him, and he suspects he can get you back any time he wants to. So right now, while you're still hanging on? He's going to enjoy being single, without any fear of losing you.

Winning your boyfriend back requires that you push him out of his little bubble of invulnerability. He needs to understand that you will move on with your life, and that you won't wait around for him. Even better, you need to make him think you already have. Once your ex believes you're over his relationship and are starting off on a new one, that's when the danger of losing you becomes very, very real to him.

How To Get Your Ex Boyfriend To Call You

If you're not at the point where your ex is picking up the phone just yet, don't worry too much about it. Your breakup might still be fresh, and in that case you'll need to extend your period of no contact. Only by making him miss you will your boyfriend actually want you back, and until that happens you've got little to no shot of getting back together.

That said, if it's been a while and your ex still hasn't called you? There are several excellent techniques designed specifically for that purpose. Most of them can be applied to grab your ex's attention without him even knowing you did anything, and these are the best ones to start with.


In the event you don't feel confident enough to speak to your ex, you're probably not in a very prime position. Before moving forward, learn some important ways to take control over the breakup.

And for more examples on exactly what to say to your ex boyfriend, check out our breakup review page.

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